Monday, January 31, 2011


Hello everyone. Congratulations on the success of your revolution, and best wishes for its future success as you transition to a new era of liberty, opportunity, and democratic government.

In honor of your monumental achievement, I have designated both this week and the next one as "Free Tunisia Weeks" here at the AC. During these weeks, each day, we will hold discussions, film screening, and activities relevant to the Tunisian Revolution. During these weeks, I am also organizing a democratic election simulation in which groups of AC members will form teams that represent actual political parties. You must work with your "political party" to write up a platform, put together an election campaign, designate your choice of ministers, and even participate in debates with the other political parties. At the end of this simulation, we will hold an election at the AC. The winning parties will then negotiate a governing coalition and will write laws on key issues that will be put to a vote by the parliament.

Here is a schedule of the next 2 weeks' events:

Mon 1/31 (4PM)- Open Forum on the Revolution and Meeting on How We can Help Rebuild Tunisia
Open Forum to Discuss Your Feelings, Hopes, Dreams, Fears, etc. about the Tunisian Revolution. This is your time to say or discuss anything you want about recent events. We will also talk about ways to contribute to helping and building a new Tunisia, so please come if you have any such ideas.

Tues 2/1 (4PM)- Open Forum on the Revolution and Meeting on How We can Help Rebuild Tunisia
Open Forum to Discuss Your Feelings, Hopes, Dreams, Fears, etc. about the Tunisian Revolution. This is your time to say or discuss anything you want about recent events. We will also talk about ways to contribute to helping and building a new Tunisia, so please come if you have any such ideas.

Wedn 2/2 (4PM)- Tunisian Constitutional Convention

We will hold a session to change and amend the Tunisian Constitution. You will have the opportunity to change Tunisian term limits, election laws, freedom of speech laws, and anything else you want. The final version of the Constitution will be put to a vote, and we will apply the voting and election rules you write to the election simulation that will take place for the rest of the next 2 weeks.

Thurs 2/3 (2PM) - Forming Political Parties, Holding Internal Party Elections, & Writing a Party Platform
Students interested in participating in the election simulation should attend this. People will form teams that represent different real-life political parties (ex: PDP, Ennahda, Communists, Harakat at-Tajdid, Congress for the Republic [Moncef Marzouki's party], etc.). Then each team will nominate of its members to run for a different ministry in the government or for the presidency. Finally, teams will work together to write up a platform for their party composed of the 5 most important things they hope to accomplish. Each team will present their platforms to the others.

Fri 2/4 (1PM) - Film + Discussion: Burma VJ
We will watch a documentary about the protests and demonstrations for democracy in Burma, which failed, and discuss similarities and differences between the Tunisian and Burmese Revolutions.

Mon 2/7 (2PM) - Campaign Flyer, Logo, and Campaign Advertisement
Political parties will work with their teams to design a party logo and campaign poster that will be hung around the AC. Each party will also work on a campaign advertisement that it will perform as a skit at the end of the session.

Tues 2/8 (2PM) - Political Party Debates Part 1

Each party's Education Minister, Foreign Minister, and National Security Advisor will face off in a debate about their vision for Tunisia's future in their respective domain.

Wed 2/9 (2PM) - Political Party Debates Part 2
Each party's Economic Advisor and Presidential candidate will face off in a debate about their vision for Tunisia's future in their respective domain.

Thurs 2/10 (2PM) - Election Results, Coalition Building, and Drafting Laws
We will hold elections for the new government based on the campaigning and debates of the past few days. I will announce the election results, and the parties will have to put together a government coalition and appoint ministers from the ruling coalition to different ministerial posts. After this is done, each party will write a law about one issue that is important to it. On Friday (the next day), we will debate those laws.

Fri 2/11 (2PM) - Special Debate Club: Debating Mock Tunisian Parliament's Laws
Laws written up by the parties yesterday will be put to the whole group for debate, amendment, and a final vote to see if they pass or not.

I will explain at each session how things will work, so if everything is not clear from this message, I will explain more then.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

AC Reopening!!!!!

The AC will reopen tomorrow with normal hours: 10AM-6PM.

We will have a 4PM conversation hour on the Tunisian Revolution, and all of this coming week will be Tunisia Week, and we will hold different activities and discussions on issues pertaining to post-Ben Ali Tunisia.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

AC Closed Wednesday

AC is Closed Wednesday 1/26/2011

AC Closed Wednesday

AC is Closed Wednesday 1/26/2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

AC Closed Tuesday and Comedy Events Postponed

Bad news. AC has been ordered to stay closed Tuesday. I'll let you know tomorrow regarding Wednesday's situation.

Also, we had a Stand-Up Comedy Event planned for later this month as well as a visit to the AC by Arab-American comedian Ahmed Ahmed. However, in respect for the gravity of the events of this month, I think a comedy event is not the most appropriate.

We will reschedule both events for February or March, however.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

AC Staying Closed Monday :-(

Guys, bad news. In spite of hopeful signs for a Monday opening, it turns out that AMIDEAST just messaged me to say that we are staying closed on Monday. :-(

I'll let you know when we can reopen. I hope it is soon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Actually AC is Closed Tomorrow - Ignore the Last Message

Sorry guys. Just got a notice a few minutes ago that AMIDEAST's global head wants to keep AMIDEAST closed until further notice. Thus, we will stay closed tomorrow and until further notice, and the meeting planned for tomorrow is also cancelled.

AC Will Reopen Tomorrow and Meeting on Tunisian Post-Revolution Reconstruction Efforts

The AC is reopening tomorrow (Wednesday) from 9AM-2PM. This will be the case until further notice.

At 1PM tomorrow, we will have a meeting in the AC for all people interested in helping to rebuild Tunisia. We will discuss how we can best do this and organize for this purpose. All are welcome to attend.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

AC Closed Monday and Volunteering to Rebuild Tunisia

Hello everyone,

The AC is closed on Monday. I will message you tomorrow with what we are doing for Tuesday although probably we will be closed then as well.

Also, if you are interested in volunteering to help clean up the mess left by looters in your neighborhood post-revolution, please ask the army in your area for permission to bring volunteers to your neighborhood. Agree with them on a day and time that people can come to clean up. Then simply send me that information with your name, e-mail, and phone number, and I will send out a call to the AC Facebook group for interest volunteers to meet at the place and time indicated. Please make sure that your neighborhood is safe for volunteering before sending me information to place a call for volunteers.

Also, there is a need for blood donors to give blood to those injured in this revolution and its aftermath. The blood bank is located in Bab Saadoun near the big archway, so please organize yourselves in groups of up to 3 to go and donate blood if you are able.

Ravi Kaneriya
American Corner Coordinator, Tunis

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mobilizing People to Help Tunisia Rebuild

Hi everyone. Hopefully, once the dust of this revolution settles, Tunisia will be tasked with the job of cleaning up the mess and rebuilding and transitioning to a free and democratic society. I would like for the American Corner's members to be part of Tunisia's reconstruction, and I would like for our members to work with local Tunisian organizations to help make this happen. If you think this is a good idea and would like to participate, please let me know.

Ravi Kaneriya
American Corner Coordinator
Tunis, Tunisia

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Update: AC Closure Today and Friday; Iraq Week Activities Cancelled

Guys, we are closed now and all day tomorrow. We will open again on Monday regular hours unless I message you otherwise. However, all Iraq Week activities for next week will be postponed.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

AC is Open

Dear AC visitors,

As of right now, the AC is open tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday. We will be holding our regular events and activities.

Please be aware, however, that the Thursday and Friday events have been canceled and postponed because the presenter is leaving Tunis in light of current events. We will reschedule our evolution-themed events for a future date. We will hold some other programs for Thursday and Friday, however.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Week of 1/3/2011 Events

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

This week's events:

Wed. 1/5 - Debate Club: US Foreign Policy in Afghanistan
Thurs. 1/6 - Cultures of America: The Quakers
Fri. 1/7 - Film: "The Lives of Others"

Other upcoming events:

Third week of January = Iraq Week

January 31 = AC Comedy Club Event (sign up in advance if you want to perform a comedy act as part of this event)

We will soon be starting a partnership with Soliya and be accepting applicants to participate in Soliya's Connect Program, which facilitates virtual discussions between people in the Arab/Muslim world and the "West". More info to come on this later.